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Middletown, Conn., fires transgender officer who claimed discrimination

Monday, June 30, 2014
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Former Middletown Police Officer Francesca Quaranta in her Newington, Conn., home on June 16,  2014. Middletown's mayor Daniel Drew fired the transgender police officer, who had complained of discrimination. Catherine Avalone, The Middletown Press (AP)

Former Middletown Police Officer Francesca Quaranta in her Newington, Conn., home on June 16, 2014. Middletown’s mayor Daniel Drew fired the transgender police officer, who had complained of discrimination.

HARTFORD, Conn. — When Francesca Quaranta told her fellow police officers in 2012 that she was transgender, she said it began a long and harsh career decline that included discrimination and harassment and culminated with her firing last week.

Quaranta, 47, believes her case against the city of Middletown will end up in federal or state court and hopes she will be awarded monetary damages for the alleged discrimination and loss of her law enforcement career.

“They made my life a living hell and nightmare to create the situation we’re in today. The system totally failed me and it has completely destroyed my life,” Quaranta said Monday. “I never should have told them. I was naive to think they would adjust.”

Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew sent a letter to Quaranta last week informing her that she was fired effective immediately for failing a fitness for duty evaluation, refusing to undergo a second evaluation, rejecting the city’s repeated attempts to return her to work and other factors. Drew said the firing was for administrative, not disciplinary, reasons.

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The mayor’s letter came several months after the city’s own investigation by its human resources department rejected Quaranta’s discrimination allegations.

“She has refused to avail herself of the opportunities we presented to get her back to work,” Drew told The Associated Press on Monday.

Drew said there only was one report of discriminatory behavior against Quaranta, and a sergeant in that case was suspended for 10 days without pay for making a derogatory remark.

“So we have not been tolerant of any abuse of Officer Quaranta or anyone else,” Drew said.

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